This past weekend Sean O’Donnell, owner of Laser Locators, and myself (Joey Colarulo, Director of Sales and Managing Partner) took part in a once in a lifetime event. As new owners of Mercedes AMG vehicles, we were given the opportunity to attend the AMG Driving Academy at the Palm Beach International Raceway in West Palm Beach. Our good friend Brad Houser, CEO of Saint Luke’s Eye, was also able to join us.
Laser Locators believes in rewarding our staff for their dedication and commitment to the company. I took delivery of my own 2014 Mercedes Benz E63 AMG in August 2013 as a reward for excellence and exceeding company expectations since being made a partner in 2011. The AMG Academy is available to new AMG owners as a way to learn about the cars and a chance to race them on a track.
Since then, I’ve been looking forward to this event to test what the AMG cars can do. The day is split into several parts with the opportunity to drive multiple AMG models. We were able to test out the C63 AMG, E63 AMG, CLS63 AMG, SLS AMG and the SLK55 AMG.
We worked with professional AMG racecar drivers all day. They taught us about how the cars handle and how to brake at high speeds. We were able to take them out on the track for ‘regular’ driving. Then they gave us exercises (such as drag racing) with the models best suited for each one.
While my favorite on the track was the SLS, I found the CLS63 and E63 were ideal for drag racing and overall comfort. The SLK55 was the most agile in tight situations and the C63 was the best for drifting.
It was an experience I’ll never forget. It was exhilarating to open up the acceleration on straightaways and test the handling through the corners. Learning the ‘proper’ way to drag race, drift and hug corners in high performance vehicles was great. I was even able to break 140 MPH on the straightaway!
The interesting thing about doing this kind of driving on tracks is that it’s exhausting. You don’t know how tiring it is to remain that alert until you do it. At the same time, we didn’t want to leave. Although we were on the same track all day, it never got boring. Sean and I were smiling the whole 10 hours we were there. By the end of the class, there were a lot of people who just looked like they were done from the exhaustion.
I may not be a racecar driver myself, but I think I did pretty well. And we had a blast doing it. You can see pictures from our day on the track and videos of our last laps.
See Seans Final Lap Here
See Joeys Final Lap Here